Approach

January 15 – Changing Your Approach

4:14- Changing Your Approach

#faithbites #faithjourney approach

Setting

“Have kids”, they say. “It will be fun”, they say. I love my kids and do enjoy them. Like all parents, there are times when our children drive us crazy. Times when no matter what we try doesn’t seem to work. As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” When we are parenting or working with people in general,, are we practicing insanity? Is our approach the right one?

My youngest is a spitfire. She is determined, stubborn, intelligent, and emotions. (Sound like anyone, you know?). Her and I tick each other off and push each others buttons. What I’ve realized is yelling and getting mad doesn’t do anything. Taking things away, just gets her mad. What I’ve learned is I need to be quiet. Lower my voice, break down the choices she is making at her level, and just leaving the situation. This approach makes her mad, but she also calms down quicker and then we can talk rationally.

Does this seem familiar to you? Do you need to change your approach to those you are teaching, talking with, or living life with?

Scripture
  • Colossians 3:21 – Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
  • Proverbs 13:24 – Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
  • Proverbs 29:!5 – The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
  • Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Reflection

When you read these scriptures, what comes to mind? Is it an authoritarian father? Is it children getting punished? Are we using this as a teaching moment? All of these are present in the scripture. We need to teach, we need to be kind (not provoke), we also need to discipline. That discipline can come in many forms. Not once does it say to become angry? It says not to spare the rod. What does that mean? Does that mean to physically hit your child? It could be. Or it could be discipline in general. In a nutshell, your child should not get away with what they are doing wrong.

Am I talking about children? While I opened this with my daughter and the scriptures refer to a child, this can be applied to all of our interactions. How we approach difficult situations says a lot about us. Are we looking for justice or revenge? Does our approach help others grow (reproof and training)? Are we using the rod without wisdom?

These days, I see a lot of they did it so I’m going to do it. Or it wasn’t a big deal then, so why is it now. Also lots of anger.

What we are seeing in these scriptures is we need to rebuke and discipline at the same time we need to teach and grow. All of these approaches need to be done with kindness and love.

Are you ready to try a new approach?

Prayer

Father God, we all want to be good parents, friends, lovers, citizens, children, and servants of your word. Sometimes we only know one approach to a situation and that isn’t helpful. That bad approach actually makes things worse and doesn’t lead to growth and healing. Help us to know how to approach each situation and what will work the best. When we fail, forgive us and help us to learn new strategies that will give us the results we need. In your name, we pray, Amen.

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